Insafe helplines in ideal position to identify and mitigate risks young people experience
17 per cent of the calls received by the helplines from 31 European countries in 2015 concerned cyberbullying with relationships online coming second, being the focus of over 11 per cent of calls.
Those are the results of the research, funded by Kaspersky, to help identifying success factors which can be used by European helplines to assess their impact and share their best practices. The final full report can be found here.
Karl Hopwood, Insafe Helpline Coordinator, explains «Insafe works with a network of European helplines who work to support children and young people, parents, teachers and social workers with a wide range of online issues. The helplines work tirelessly to stay up to date with the rapidly changing esafety landscape.» He considers that «the research carried out by European Schoolnet with EU Kids Online and funded by Kaspersky helps to identify how helplines are able to evaluate their effectiveness, something which challenges all those involved in esafety education and support. Young people are often well versed in «talking the talk» as regards to how to stay safe when they are online but whether they translate this into changing their behaviours is more difficult. Helplines clearly make a huge difference to the lives of those they support and the research will help to support the network in ensuring that the wider public are aware of them and the work that they do.»
This latest report found that the helplines are in an ideal position to identify new and emerging risks in relation to internet safety. Through their close interactions with young people, helplines hear at first hand problems that they experience online. Collecting this information and using it to develop effective safety responses is now a central part of what helplines do. The report summarises the most prominent current and emerging risks. It also documents the challenges that staff and volunteers encounter in implementing the helpline service.
Brian O’Neill from EU Kids Online welcomed the opportunity to work with European Schoolnet and Insafe on this study of helplines. He adds «Helplines provide vital support, information and guidance to young people about all aspects of their experience with the internet. Helplines are also a crucial listening service for young people who encounter problems online. The aim of the research was to find out how helplines can best use this information to make their service more widely known and to demonstrate the impact of the very good work they do. The research will, we hope, assist helplines in developing methods to enhance information gathering that will contribute to a better public understanding of supports for internet safety and wellbeing.»
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